On Anime (Part 1)

I love anime. I think a lot of people out there love anime too. However, there exists different levels of passion when it comes to anime (just like everything else in life). From the ‘superficial’ fans who watch episodes of Naruto or Bleach after being introduced to them by their friends down to the hardcore “otaku” who owns tonnes of anime-related merchandise and prefer being stuck in the 2D world. There are good and bad with both extremes. On one hand, many people miss out on the beauty and brilliant vehicle of ideas, emotions and thoughts which anime is. On the other hand, we have now an entire generation of humans who shun the real world, preferring to limit their interactions to 2D characters controlled mainly by capitalist/materialistic intentions.

Where am I? I deign to think that I am somewhere in the middle. Sure…I go deeper into anime than most people do. Always downloading (and recording) the latest anime episodes from every season. I supply so much anime to others that I frequently forget who borrowed what and when. I own figurines and wallscrolls. I listen to a lot of anime music. I go to anime conventions (Melbourne ANIme FESTival). I discuss anime at length in online forums and with other fans. I bring a gospel of “watch anime!” to the ‘heathen’. It does seem that I belong to one extreme of the anime fandom spectrum.

However I do not associate myself with being an ‘otaku’. I find the term and what it implies degrading and disgraceful. Anime was supposed to be a reflection of real-life IMHO not an avenue to escape reality. Passion is good but must be in moderation. Passion is not materialistic and it has nothing to do with how many things one has. In the end, its all social. Passion is relational. I doubt one can define passion when nobody is around.

My history with anime started early. During my childhood days, I was already exposed to all those pioneer animes like Kimba, Macross, Gundam, Dragonball, Doraemon…the list goes on. As a kid, you love it! Interesting, full of action and its on every week. As you get older, preferences for different genres developed. Unlike most males of my generation, I went with the “shoujo” romance/drama/comedy route instead of the “shounen” action/mecha genres. Why? To me, it was more enjoyable to watch emotions and thoughts rather than giant robots smacking the heck out of each other.

However that being said, the two shows which really pulled me into the anime fandom were “Aa! Megami-sama” (Ah! My Goddess) and “You’re Under Arrest”, two works by the prolific Fujishima Kosuke. Those two shows made me realized that anime is a big big big world. All those emotions, art and beauty which can move the hearts of men. If I don’t pursue it now, I am going to lose it. That were my thoughts at that time. Looking back now, I made my path into anime without much clear idea about what it would become.

Two more things needed to happen of course to bring me to where I am now. One was coming to Australia and the other was “Last Exile”. In Australia, broadband internet was faster and widely available. I also have the relative freedom of really pursuing my interests. Then…my friend introduced me to “Last Exile”, a spectacular anime produced by GONZO Digimation for their 10th anniversary. That was the last station on my way in turning hobby into passion. From then on, I never looked back.

to be continued…



~ by shybeg122 on December 15, 2007.

One Response to “On Anime (Part 1)”

  1. I like what you said about passion that comes from anime which in itself is a mean of socialization, but being alone watching anime is not passion but obsession.

    I went the shoujo route like you too, but I’m now more interested in asian drama (which most is adapted from manga just like anime).

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